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Green AV Now

Jun 6, 2011 12:34 PM, With Bennett Liles

Industry experts weigh in on the state of sustainable AV.

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What does a company in the AV industry do to achieve ISO 14001 certification? What’s the trend?
There are a few manufacturers that I know of that have done this. The only one I can think of that we integrate regularly is Middle Atlantic. We also often recommend using Material Processing Corporation (MPC) that uses a strict 100-percent zero-landfill policy for recycling. MPC is ISO 14001 because it is their business to be. I'm not sure and do not think any integrators are currently ISO 14001 certified. I think unless there is a major incentive to become so, maybe driven by the industry, then the trend will be to work toward the certification through common sense responsibility.

Connolly: The trend is for industries to develop their own certifications that are more appropriate for their specific practices and procedures. Right now, in the staging industry, we're seeing the development of ISO 20121, an environmental management system (the EMS being an integral part of 14001) for meetings and events ... which will be inclusive of AV staging. There are the new STEP guidelines being released from Infocomm.

Kopsho: The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management. The very first two standards, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004 deal with environmental management systems (EMS). ISO 14001:2004 provides the requirements for an EMS and ISO 14004:2004 gives general EMS guidelines. The other standards and guidelines in the family address specific environmental aspects, including labeling, performance evaluation, life cycle analysis, communication, and auditing. ISO 14001:2004 does not specify levels of environmental performance. If it specified levels of environmental performance, they would have to be specific to each business activity, and this would require a specific EMS standard for each business. That is not the intention.

The intention of ISO 14001:2004 is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to the organization's environmental policy, plans, and actions. ISO 14001:2004 gives the generic requirements for an environmental management system. The underlying philosophy is that whatever the organization's activity, the requirements of an effective EMS are the same and are not particular to the AV industry.

This has the effect of establishing a common reference for communicating about environmental management issues between organizations and their customers, regulators, the public, and other stakeholders.

Currently the ISO 14001 certification is voluntary and that means that a company in the AV industry has to make a conscious corporate decision to lead the effort. I do see that the trend is on the rise toward this. I know as an AV manufacturer we are looking at this very closely. At this point, it is more important to implement green technologies and a green corporate approach and soon we will match that to the guidelines in the ISO certification.

Pekurar: ISO14001 is a voluntary standard, which Christie sees as an important aspect of being a good corporate citizen. Attaining ISO14001 requires significant management support to review the organization’s products, activities, and services by identifying aspects of the business that may impact the environment. Christie then institutes measures to reduce or eliminate the risk. One has to have a broad look at business practices and determine the impact to customers, suppliers, and the entire environmental product life cycle. ISO14001 is a continuous improvement standard, which requires constant learning, improvement, and investment. Supporting initiatives within the AV community is a great way to get involved. Learn about the STEP rating system and the many AV initiatives including the upcoming InfoComm/ANSI Energy Management Standard.

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